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241 of 260 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory BLU-RAY
I won't bore you with yet another "review" of this film or my personal opinion of it. You want to know what I think of the BD version, right?

My short answer: This BD looks and sounds so good that I've already given away my DVD of it.

The Blu-ray Disc of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is the best I have ever seen of the film. Image quality is...
Published on October 4, 2010 by Hollywood

versus
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
Let me start off my saying this is one of my all time favorite films of all time. I could not give it any more stars because of what it is, just the DVD but on blue ray. While the quality looks better that is all there is to it. There are really no extra features than on the DVD. The interviews were all done 15 years ago. And the voice over from the cast is the same that...
Published on October 26, 2011 by Bruce S.


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241 of 260 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory BLU-RAY, October 4, 2010
By 
Hollywood (Louisville, KY United States) - See all my reviews
I won't bore you with yet another "review" of this film or my personal opinion of it. You want to know what I think of the BD version, right?

My short answer: This BD looks and sounds so good that I've already given away my DVD of it.

The Blu-ray Disc of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is the best I have ever seen of the film. Image quality is sharp & clean and the colors stand out like candy. The DolbyTrueHD sound is excellent allowing all the dialogue and songs to come through crystal-clear.

This BD case is like a book with many pages for the fans. My ONLY (small) regret is that the back cover containing all the BD information is not printed on the book, and instead is merely a printed page that eventually comes loose and detaches after a short while (whereas my "Easy Rider" BD is the same type of book and the information is printed on the back cover - much better!).

If you like (or love) this movie and are wondering if the BD is worth the money, wonder no more. You will be pleased with your decision to make the switch to Blu-ray for Wonka.
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181 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time classics in a must-own DVD, November 25, 2001
By A Customer
The 30th Anniversary Edition of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was originally botched as a fullscreen-only effort. However, Warner listened to the people and gave them a wonderful widescreen transfer.
Colors are vibrant, the 5.1 Dolby Digital track is very nice, and there are a handful of cool extras. There is the 30-minute documentary "Pure Imagination" which shows some of the cast today, including all the children and Gene Wilder himself. The interviews of the cast looking back at the movie which was the defining thing for so many of them is very interesting. The documentary on the whole is rather fulfilling. While one feels that the documentary could have delved deeper and maybe been an hour-long, at a brisk 30 minutes, the pacing seems okay and it won't leave you wanting too much more. There is a limited amount of archival on-set "B" roll footage, but all that is there is interesting.
Also included is the original theatrical trailer (Warner left off the 25th Anniversary trailer that was on the original DVD release from 1997), a 4-minute featurette on the production design, and a feature-length audio commentary from the children, who have now grown up. The other features - "character bios" and sing-alongs - are pretty much fluff features. Since this was one of my most anticipated DVD releases of the year, I can't help but feel Warner could have done more in the way of extra features - games, outtakes, deleted scenes, etc. Nevertheless, the overall content of this DVD is satisfying enough.
As one of the greatest films of all time, and certainly one of the most enjoyable musicals and most enjoyable films of the 1970s, "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" has a timeless feel to it. This DVD deserves a place in every collection.
If you like the movie, then know better than to be the fullframe edition, which was released earlier. Widescreen in the original ratio is the only way to go. Especially in a few years from now, when we all have 16 x 9 widescreen TVs, and that "fullframe" version leaves you with big bars on the side of the TV. See the movie the way it was made and meant to be seen - in widescreen. And when you do get that 16 x 9 television, guess what - the widescreen DVD will fill your screen!
A classic movie with classic peformances, and a wonderful amount of heart. What are you waiting for -- get the widescreen 30th Anniversary Edition DVD of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory so you can enter a world of pure imagination today!
Video: A -
Audio: A
Extras: B+
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen ... fullscreen ... Guess what? Everybody's WRONG!, January 21, 2003
Well, not exactly... Some here have complained that the widescreen version is simply a matted version of a full screen print, and that the widescreen presentation chops off part of the image at the top and bottom. Well, according to my copy of the DVD, that is only half correct. I own the 25th Anniversary 1996 release of this film on DVD, which has both the widescreen and full screen version on one DVD. I compared numerous scenes in freeze-frame between the widescreen and full screen versions. In widescreen, sure enough, a bit of the top and bottom of the image seems to be cut off when compared to the full screen version. But I also noticed that when viewing the full screen version, an equal bit is missing from the left and right compared to the widescreen version. So no matter which version you watch, you aren't seeing "everything". But which is proper? After comparing many images, I conclude that the widescreen version is what we are supposed to be seeing. Consider the beginning of chapter six. If you watch the widescreen version, you see a news anchor sitting at a desk. the bottom of the image is framed with his name plate on his desk, and the right side of the screen says "Evening Report" on the back wall. Watch the full screen version, and you will see a bit more blue background on the top, and more of the desk below the name plate on the bottom, but the right side of the image now reads, "Eveni Repo"! Folks, you ARE missing the left and right sides when viewing the full screen version, and from what I saw, the little bit of information that is missing from the top and bottom of the widescreen version generally was inconsequential. Every scene I watched and compared looked better composed when watching the widescreen presentation. Just FYI...
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117 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oompa-Loompa, doopity do, I've got another puzzle for you!, May 14, 2005
By 
Joy (Fairfax, VA USA) - See all my reviews
WOW, I can't believe how long ago this film was made and how wonderful it is even today! It really doesn't seem like it's from 1971. I have probably seen this film over 500 times by now, since the 80's and I still am not the least bit bored of it. At 28 years old, I still totally love this film!!! The characters, especially Gene Wilder who plays Willy Wonka, who is THE Willy Wonka, who could never be topped EVER (yes I've seen the 2005 film!), the music, the setting, the songs, and especially the Oompa-Loompa's! Everything in this film is so wonderfully done and everyone who hasn't seen it yet, needs to as soon as possible!!

My favorite place or scene in the whole film has to be the big candy and chocolate room where Willy Wonka sings "Pure Imagination." Not only for the song but because I can see how much work the director put into this film. All the candy and chocolate looks so real and alive and the whole room looks so beautiful the way everything is set up! I also love that teacher, Charlie's teacher that you see a lot until they go into the chocolate factory, he is so funny! And it's set in London, an added bonus!! I just cannot get enough of this film or recommend this film enough!! It's a masterpiece!!! It's definitely one of my favorite movies of all time!!!

Who could not love Veruca's "I Want It Now" performance? That whole scene was totally brilliant!

The Special Widescreen Edition DVD has tons of extras. There is commentary by the kids who got to go inside the factory. You'll also learn that Gene Wilder wouldn't play Willy Wonka unless he was able to do that somersault that he does before letting the kids through the gate. There is an interview with Gene Wilder from 2001, The Making of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, four sing along songs, a 1971 behind the scenes featurette, and a photo gallery.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray, October 19, 2011
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This review is for the 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray.

We all know Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a great movie. This review is simply the mechanics of this special edition set.

It is very nice box set and well organized and put together. However, to keep all the items in place are these clear cheap thin plastic pieces which make the whole set look a little cheap. I rather have foam like material to keep the items where they belong. The discs are on the bottom in a candy bar looking cardboard foldout sleeve, so you must dig through all the other items to get to the movie.

The box is colorful and fairly solid. It is slightly thicker than the Warner Brothers I am Legend special edition box set. When standing upright the top just slides off, but you need it to be on it's side or all the stuff will fall out. Really nothing of any use. I'll never use the smelly pencils or eraser. I wish the Blu-ray/DVD case was a steelbook or something a little stronger than cardboard. The golden ticket is cool and some of the other stuff is all right.

I had the Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory UK Blu-ray and I can honestly say this disc looks and sounds a lot better. It is probably the same as previous USA Blu versions, though to me it looks the best it ever has.

Over-all it is a nice set to have if you are a big fan like me. Each box is labeled as to what limited number you are out of 100,000. This label is actually a silver sticker on the outer cover of the box set. I wish it was on the inside somewhere, but that is ok. If you are hesitant, maybe wait until the price drops a little. I can't see this item selling out or being hard to find as there are 100,000 of them and it's not the best set in the world. But at $43.99, I am not disappointed with the set, movie, or cost.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen is not what everyone will want for Wonka because:, January 7, 2003
By 
R. Miller "drifter2k" (North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Firstly, despite what one reviewer says, the widescreen edition is NOT simply the deceptively named 'full screen' version with the top and bottom chopped off (no, it's not a 'faked' widescreen) it was originally filmed 'open-matte' in a 1.33:1 ratio (same as a 4:3 television), a process which involves covering up (matting out) the top and bottom of the image for presentation in theatres to create a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I do not like this method of filming as it gives widescreen movies an underserved bad name. The widescreen shape is what the director intended to be seen but ,alas, it does offer less visible image than the open matte version so can make one feel ripped off! However, that said, keep in mind that when movies filmed this way are seen 'full frame' the artistic composition of the shot is often lost and sometimes things that shouldn't be visible such as microphones are seen. Widescreen is easily the way to go if you want to see the most image on the vast majority of releases as 'open-matte' is really not all that common a format.
I would not say 'buyer beware' just 'buyer be aware' that there are a myriad of formats. I would encourage anyone who isn't familiar about the different film formats to do a web search for the letterbox and widescreen advocacy page for an excellent visual description of the various formats and matting techniques used in films.
Finally, this movie is a lot of fun and I recommend it to children and adults alike. Yes, the boat ride is kind of bizarre and perhaps could be a bit unsettling for some, but it's no more scary (in my opinion) than a lot of scenes in 'The Wizard Of Oz' such as the witches legs curling up after she gets crushed by Dorothy's house. Children can't be so sheltered from life so as to not see a bit of darkness at times. Also, the worm in the 'Willy Wonka' boat ride scene crawls across a living person's face not a dead person...you can see their eyes follow the movement of the worm. One more comment on the boat ride scene...despite what a reviewer said, the widescreen version DOES have violet picking her nose while saying "spitting is such a dirty habbit" - my copy certainly does anyhow.
I would give it 4.5 stars if I could but will have to round it off at 5.
p.s. I must mention that Amazon.com incorrectly shows the widescreen ratio of this DVD as being 2.35:1 instead of its actual 1.85:1 ratio.
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104 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candy is dandy..., May 25, 2004
The film is based on a much-loved children's book, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', by Roald Dahl. Dahl wasn't always happy with the changes made between his book and the film, and wasn't always consulted on them. Today probably more people are familiar with the film sequence of events than the book. Charlie is a down-on-his-luck boy who is nonetheless optimistic and happy. He and his mother work to tend for their bed-ridden family members, all living together in a one-room home.
One day there is an annoucement that Wonka is going to open his factory to visitors, to be chosen more or less at random through finding the Golden Tickets, contained in Wonka bars (a brilliant marketing device back then). Scenes of shoppers' frenzy are shown all around with world, including a Wonka delivery van shown arriving at the White House.
The five golden tickets are found all around the world - the first one in Dusselheim, Germany, by the fat boy, Augustus Gloop (played by Michael Boliner, who is now a tax accountant in Munich, and is still rather large). The second ticket was found in the UK, by spoiled brat, Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole, the only Wonka child still acting), whose father, Roy Kinnear, is a well-known actor in British cinema. The third ticket was found in the USA, by gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde (Denise Nickerson, now an accountant at a nuclear plant in Colorado), whose used-car-salesman father was played by Leonard Stone (who was selected over Jim Bakus). The fourth ticket was also won in the USA, by Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen, considered a real brat by most of the cast and crew); his frantic mother was played by Dodo Denny (later Nora Denny), who was one of the few minor characters in the film to consistently act after this film. The final ticket at first is reported to be won by some shady businessman from Paraguay, but in the end, that is proven to be a forgery. Of course, Charlie buys a Wonka Bar expecting nothing, and gets the ticket.
An ominous figure, Slugworth (the arch-enemy of Wonka - who knew chocolate makers also made arch-enemies?), appears to each of the winners, whispering in their ears. Charlie is also confronted, and promised a reward should he bring Slugworth an example of Wonka's latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper. One wonders why (a) any candy maker would make a candy that never wears out (thus defeating re-sales), and (b) why Slugworth can't just buy one himself when they are released, analyse it and ruin his own factory the same way? But I digress... Gunter Meisner, a very prolific German actor, played the villain, who wasn't in the book (nor was the 'gobstopper plot').
The grand day of the event, the winners enter the factory with great fanfare, meeting Wonka (Gene Wilder) for the first time, and get the first taste of his bizarre sense of theatre. (It is reported not only Wilder's idea for the limping/somersault introduction to the crowd, but also a condition of his accepting the role.) From that point on, what was truth? It is ironic that Wonka's entrance doesn't occur until the film is half over. What we remember of the film comes after this, but over half the film is actually set-up. This is rather like the Wizard of Oz, where most of the film is done before we see 'the major character', although admittedly Wonka is far more prominent than Oz's balloonist.
Wonka, the man of mystery, only ever became even more of a mystery as the tour progressed. He is constantly switching his words ('we have so much time and so little to do'), and there are surprises at every turn. Wonka borrows a lot of his key phrases (Ogden Nash, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde) and there are a lot of fantasy-inspired elements (Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings).
At each major scene, something ghastly seems to happen, but in epic-fantasy form, it doesn't seem to matter to the majority, who proceed onward with their quest. In the chocolate room, Augustus Gloop meets his untimely exit from the factory by falling in the chocolate river. Violet turns into a blueberry by chewing experimental gum, and has to be squeezed (squoozed?). Veruca, in the room with the geese who lay the golden eggs, turns out to be a bad egg herself, but has a sporting chance of going down a chute with an inactive furnace. Mike Teevee shrinks in the Wonka version of the Star Trek transporter beam, leaving in the end only Charlie, who is denied his prize of a lifetime of chocolate for a minor infraction.
It would seem that Wonka had a sinister side in many ways - the boat that carries the prize winners only seated eight, implying that Wonka knew someone would be missing. The Wonkamobile only had seats for four guests. Of course, the children apparently all had sinister sides, too, including Charlie, until the end. None of them let Wonka know of their Slugworth contact.
In the end, we never know what becomes of the fallen questers - we are led to believe that in this candy factory they got their just desserts. The Oompa-Loompas put the moral to each downfall in song, with a 1970s karaoke-type presentation of the lyrics as they sing. In the end, of course, goodness and justice win out, as the factory is given to Charlie after his act of unwarranted kindness toward Wonka.
Director Stuart always saw this film as a 'realistic' fantasy film. Those things that are not over the top are very ordinary. The people are not superheroes, and the situations, while fantastic, are not beyond the credible. Stuart also did his best for 'real' reaction - the kids had never seen Gene Wilder before his appearance at the door, the chocolate room in the factory, or the Oompa-Loompas prior to the first scene, either, so their reactions are more natural.
A great film for children and adults!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild about Wilder, August 3, 2005
As a fan of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory since the 1970s, I may be a little biased, however, the recent re-make can not hold a candle.

If you like musicals, this should definitely be on your list. The songs are delightful and fun,and with the exception of Charlie's Mom's song, I love them all. The screen writing is excellent.

Gene Wilder is masterful as the eccentric candy maker, Willy Wonka. One can not help but feel anxious as Willy Wonka guides us through the inner workings of his factory.

Adults and children alike will enjoy the lessons one learns from not listening, being selfish, greedy and not respecting others through this timeless classic.

I highly reccommend it to anyone both young and old. No need to have children to "view paradise, simply look around and view it."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL WORTH A GOLDEN TICKET!, June 30, 2005
By 
Jonathan Cohen (Brookline, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Much has been said about "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", and much will be said as the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake approaches. So here are a few more words about what I think is the greatest children's book-turned-movie of all...

* Why "Willy Wonka" instead of "Charlie"? Turns out that the film's financial backer, Quaker, wanted to go into the candy business and introduce a Wonka bar as a movie tie-in. They should have stayed with cereal because the prototype Wonka bar melted on contact. The movie, however, has proven to be as indestructible as an Everlasting Gobstopper.

* Gene Wilder was already established as Mel Brooks' favorite leading man, but his work as Willy Wonka is as distinctive as that gaudy purple coat of his. As the avuncular candy czar with the very warped sense of humor, he still lights up the screen and has those kids eating out of his hand in more ways than one.

* The five children were culled from playhouse programs in three countries; Peter Ostrum, so cute and likably innocent as Charlie, came from Cleveland and the same company that once had Paul Newman and Debra Winger on their roster. The most adept of them, I think, is Julie Dawn Cole, so perfectly bratty (and with a biting London accent to boot) as Veruca Salt. It's no surprise to learn that she's the only one of the five that remained a full-time actress.

* Did you know that Jean Stapleton almost wound up as Mike Teavee's dotty mom? She was initially offered the part, but at the last minute decided to go with a "new kind of sitcom". You know the rest, of course, but Nora "Dodo" Denney did a great job as my favorite of the parents.

There are tons of little tidbits like these, and you can find them on the excellent supplementary features that are part of this DVD: a well-done documentary that interviews most of the surviving principals; a full-length commentary that reunites all five Wonka kids for the first time in 30 years; and a short clip focusing on the Oscar-winning, Disney-trained set designer, Harper Goff. Very telling, for hard-core Dahl fans, are the comments by David Seltzer, the now-veteran screenwriter whose first major assignment was to rewrite Dahl's original script just before filming began. The softer Wonka, the Slugworth subplot, the parts involving TV newscasters are Seltzer's additions, but the sequence of the kids' introductions and most of the factory scenes remain true to Dahl's work.

As you can tell, I've been a serious devotee of both book and film ever since I got a copy of the original "Charlie" for my seventh birthday (which I still proudly own). That's why I added these comments rather than rehash the movie itself- you probably know it by heart, too!

I don't know anyone who doesn't know this story by heart, so I heartily recommend this excellent package for both devoted fan and neophyte alike. No matter what the Burton/Depp version holds- and given Tim's history of deadpan horror comedy, I'm sure it will be a lot eerier than this one, whose gaudy '60s-style colors somehow don't look dated- there will always be a fond place in the hearts of kids of all ages for the original, and still great, "Willy Wonka".

Oh, yeah- I ate a candy bar a day, every day, for many years after reading this and never did find that Golden Ticket!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOAT RIDE SCENE, April 23, 2006
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The famous/infamous Boat Ride Scene in this movie is probably the most talked about piece of film in these reviews, so I thought I'd spill my thoughts about it. To be honest, I love it. It represents a speck of horror, a dark flaw in the sparkling crystal of the movie, and more macroscopically, our lives... that somehow makes the crystal so much more mysterious and fascinating.

The entire movie crescendoes to the moment when Charlie lays down the Everlasting Gobstopper on Mr. Wonka's desk, which he does despite such potentially intimidating things as the boat ride and the also famous "You LOSE!! Good DAY, sir!" tirade. I think Charlie does this because he has carefully paid attention to the fact that Mr. Wonka, despite some threatening stuff, is fundamentally good, and has only illustrated some of the consequences of not listening to him to some people who really should pay attention. "Why don't they listen to Mr. Wonka?" Charlie asks plaintively at one point... but then at another, he himself and Grandpa Joe don't listen and go floating up via Fizzy Lifting Drinks.... even they are sinners... but can be and are forgiven. In a nutshell, I think Mr. Wonka represents God, the chocolate factory represents Heaven, and Charlie represents how one has to behave to get there. The boat ride represents what could happen to us if we don't listen. We are all ON that boat ride right now... the rowers keep on rowing, and they certainly aren't showing any sign that they are slowing. Throughout my life, I plan to do my best to give back the Everlasting Gobstopper... but sometimes I am probably gonna have a few hits of Fizzy Lifting Drinks even though Mr. Wonka told me not to. : ) S
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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by Mel Stuart (DVD - 2011)
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